Used car dealerships are full of more than just deals. They are also full of memories. From first dates to first road trips to first parking tickets, a used car dealership could provide thousands of hours of conversations if those wheels could talk. From Toyota dealerships that carry a huge inventory of used cars to the smallest of used vehicles lots on the corner of a town square, the cars that we drive are difficult to separate from the stories of our lives:
- In the beginning, you and your husband did not have the money to buy much of a car. The one that you found required a lot of TLC from tapping on the brakes in the coldest of weather to making sure that you traveled with plenty of extra water on the long road trip sin the summer.
- Friends sitting three in the front seat of your first used pick up truck.
- Chasing the last minutes of sunlight on a long family vacation heading west to California.
- Arguments and tears when the directions did not provide enough details to get you to your neighbor’s wedding on time
- Road trips with three generations, including the youngest grandchild who rarely quit crying and the grandfather who knew a historic or regional tidbit about every small town that you traveled through.
- Sisters racing to call shotgun, claiming the front passenger seat every time you step out the door for a car trip, no matter if that trip is long or short.
- Cousin road trips to go boating, tubing, and camping. The fact that you were still making these trips after you were old enough to go without the aunts
- Old cars, passed down from other family members may have the longest stories to tell, from the day when the grandparent bought the car as a new vehicle clear through the end of the line when the youngest grandson used the car to travel back and forth to football practice and school.
- Until you have made a long work road trip with coworkers you really do not know the joys and the pains of travel. No hiding your good and bad habits when you are trapped in a car together for hour after hour.
- Lost because you missed the turn you were supposed to be looking for three times.
- Drives through neighborhoods across the city looking at Christmas lights, listening to Christmas carols, eating popcorn, and drinking hot chocolate.
- Teaching your teenage daughters how to drive and all of the laughter and nervousness that occurred on the way to successfully achieving the first driver’s license.
- Adjusting to a nephew’s car with no keyless entry and no cruise control, but still has a state of the art sound system can make for an interesting trip, as well as serve as a reminder that the creature comforts for one person are not the same as the creature comforts of someone else.
- Long nights parked at the drive in with friends, watching movies, talking until the owner raps on your window and tells you that it is time to go home.
- Kids fighting. Kids sleeping. Kids spilling. The family cars that take kids back and forth to school and to and from after school practices often serve as the location for one or two meals or snacks a day, meaning that those spills can include everything from popcorn to chocolate milk!
In the year 2016, certified pre-owned sales reached a record 2.6 million units. And while some buyers always look for new car purchases, many buyers instead search for a used car that costs less and can offer a better value. Given that the average vehicle will have three owners in its lifetime, it should come as no surprise that IHS Markit research indicates that more than 20 million vehicles on the road in 2021 will be over 25 years old.
Car dealerships are all about the numbers. The number of cars on a lot, the number listed on the window sticker, the number of months that you are going to be paying. The real stories at car dealership, however, are not the numbers, but the memories that every car could share if it was able to talk.